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by Kris Ligman

20 Jul 2011


I have recently taken to listening to Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series at work. Audiobooks don’t make the day go any faster, but they at least feel slightly more productive than listening to music or putting Netflix on in the background for a straight eight hours. That, and it feels like the only way that I get any reading done.

Having just closed the last audio file on the second book in the series, The Drawing of the Three, two impressions fill my mind. The first is that I can’t fathom what the objection would be to making a videogame out of this series, as it’s so obviously organized like an adventure RPG, party recruitment and all. The second is that Drawing of the Three provides an excellent analogy for understanding point of view in gaming and gaming’s fourth wall.

by Mark Filipowich

18 Jul 2011


When the Blight rose in Ferelden, most fled or pretended it didn’t exist. Fortunately, Virginia Cousland, a new recruit to the Grey Wardens, turned out to be the best hero the country could have hoped for. She balanced pragmatism with benevolence. She could be coercive and callously calculated, but she never lost her compassion. There was context to her decisions and her moral character grew out of her choices. She always had the option to choose otherwise—she could have tainted Andraste’s ashes as easily as she preserved them—but she stuck to her principles even when an easier path forked away from them. Virginia’s successor, Mira Hawke, did not make her own choices even when there was room in the story to do so.

Both the Warden and Hawke’s moral strength can be judged by their actions, but Hawke’s actions, unlike the Warden’s, are largely out of the player’s control. Judging Hawke’s moral character, then, is done on the basis of actions that can not be avoided. Hawke is racially and economically privileged; she’s ushered into the ruling class, and she exploits the underprivileged citizens of Kirkwall.

by G. Christopher Williams

18 Jul 2011


As a follow up to a game released over a decade ago, Alice: Madness Returns reimagines American McGee’s Wonderland mythos as well as the somewhat retrograde genre of the action platformer.  This week the Moving Pixels podcast crew discusses Alice‘s imagery, mechanics, and overall presentation of insanity.

by Rick Dakan

15 Jul 2011


Chapter 1 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 2 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 3 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 4 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 5 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 6 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 7 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 8 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 9 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 10 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 11 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 11 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 13 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 14 of Rage Quit as a PDF.

by Nick Dinicola

15 Jul 2011


Conflict is key to a good story. That’s something I kept in mind as I played through Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 again. Because this time I wasn’t playing as a Player, I was merely seeking to enjoy some futuristic role-play or even as a Character, an idealized version of myself tasked with saving the galaxy. This time, I played as a Writer. It seemed as easy task at first since, as a fan of the franchise, I knew what choices get carried through to the sequel and what actions have what consequences. Over the course of the game, I purposely let bad things happen because that would lead to more conflict, which makes for a more interesting story. But gaming is a process of collaborative storytelling, and as I tried to write conflict into the story, I ran into conflict with my writing partner, Bioware.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Beyoncé and When Music Writing Becomes Activism

// Sound Affects

"The overall response to Beyoncé's "Formation" has been startlingly positive, but mostly for reasons attached to political agendas. It's time to investigate this trend.

READ the article